Homegrown private equity (PE) firm True North has signed a definitive agreement to disinvest its holding from RDC Concrete, the non-cement readymix concrete company in the country, to construction tech marketplace startup Infra.Market. While the companies have not disclosed the value of the transaction, the acquisition has reportedly cost Infra.Market $100 Mn (INR 737 Cr).
Before the acquisition, True North (formerly known as India Value Fund) held a majority equity stake in the company through its initial investment of $20 Mn in 2005. By 2014, the firm owned over 99% stake in the business.
The recently turned unicorn in the Indian startup ecosystem, Infra.Market caters to both institutional customers (B2B) and retail outlets in the construction materials sector. The startup currently supplies construction materials to buyers across 10 states in India and exports to markets such as Dubai, Singapore, Jordan, Italy among other countries.
Aaditya Sharda, co-founder of Infra.Market, said: “We currently have over 40 manufacturing units tied up with us for concrete manufacturing. RDC brings on the table a category experience of over a decade and 52 exclusive manufacturing tie-ups across India.”
Founded in 2016 by Aaditya Sharda and Souvik Sengupta, Infra.Market is a B2B online procurement marketplace for real estate and construction material that leverages technology to offer fair pricing and a smoother procurement experience for its customers. The platform aggregates demand and matches it with the supply chain, with wholesale pricing on materials, along with affordable credit or financing, which is not always available for small businesses in this sector.
This is also another example of the changing gears in the Indian M&A ecosystem. With technology becoming such a critical aspect of everyday life and transactions, startups are looking to snap up non-tech businesses in a bid to demonstrate revenue growth along with scale.
Ten-year-old IPO-bound edtech decacorn BYJU’s acquired 33-year-old brick-and-mortar test-prep giant Akash Institute for $1 Bn. Six-year-old epharmacy tech unicorn PharmEasy acquired 25-year-old publicly-listed diagnostics chain Thyrocare. Three-year-old BharatPe acquired 37-year-old PMC Bank and four-year-old Groww brought out the 13-year-old mutual funds business of IndiaBulls group.
This is Infra.Market’s second acquisition after it acquired a majority stake in Telangana-based construction equipment rental service Equiphunt in May for $10 Mn.
Post-acquisition, the concrete mix manufacturer RDC Concrete will continue independently, headed by the managing director and chief executive officer, Anil Banchhor. Founded in 1993, RDC now has 52 cement-mix plants across India, serving clients across construction, infrastructure, real estate, industrial, and commercial projects, with expected annual revenue of INR 1000 Cr in FY22.
RDC also has several sister brands such as Robo Silicon, Sesa Care, KIMS Hospital, HICare, Sesa Care, Born, Shree Digivijay Cement Co. Ltd, Fincare, Cloudnine Hospital, ACT, NBHC, Syngene, MAGMA, Seedworks and HFFC among others.